Over the weekend my wife and I did quite a bit of shopping. I needed some clothing and a shop vac to clean up in our garage after a long winter. My wife wanted to get some dishes. We also needed to stop by the grocery store.
While we were running around town from store to store I noticed something extremely annoying. The offers for store credit cards seem to be getting more in your face and aggressive.
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Accosted By A Roaming Credit Card Salesman
The first store we went to was Kohl's because I needed to buy some new work shoes, as well as a package of socks. I found the shoes I was looking for and then started looking at some electronic goods on a shelf in the men's department. Out of nowhere appeared a sales associate who promptly asked me if I would like to save 15% today. Sensing this was a come-on to a Kohl's charge sales pitch I said, “Nope, I'm not interested”. She responded, “You seem pretty sure about that, huh?”. I said, “Oh yeah, I pay for everything in cash, and don't need any store credit cards. Thanks though”. She responded, “Oh, I see. Well, let me know if I can help you with anything!”
She walked off towards another customer 20 feet away, and I heard “Would you like to save 15% today”?
Later on I was walking around the store trying to find my wife, and walked around the corner, only to bump into the same sales associate. She started her pitch, then realized she had already talked to me. “I already asked you if you'd like to save 15% didn't I?”
“Yes you did, and I wasn't interested. Thanks though”.
I finally got to the register where the clerk asked me one more time – “Would you like to save 15% today?”. I refused the offer one final time. Wow, they sure are persistent aren't they?
Would You Like To Add A Credit Card To Your Order?
At Target we walked in the door and right by the carts was a display for the Target credit cards – as well as a nice sign telling me how I could save 10% today off of my order just by signing up! No thanks!
We continued on through the store. I bought my shop vac, and my wife picked up some dishes. We headed to the checkout. We stood in a line of 3 or 4 shoppers, waiting as each and every one of them was offered a credit card by the checkout girl. She wasn't very into her job of selling the credit card, but it was obvious that she was required to ask everyone in line if they would like to sign up and save 10%.
The stores make millions off of the store credit cards, otherwise they wouldn't be putting such a huge effort into selling them with the signage, promotions and checkout sales pitches.
Credit Card Sales Pitch While Getting My Deli Meats
We finally ended up at our local grocery store. When you walk in the door you find yourself in the produce section, and whether you need anything there or not you have to make your way through produce and frozen meats to make your way to the rest of the store. Right at the choke point before you head into the aisles of boxed goods was a nice young man trying to get people to sign up for a bank credit card and a free checking account. He was giving away free blankets!
He had a captive audience as people made their way past the deli counter, and whether they liked it or not he gave them his spiel. He grabbed my attention at which time I promptly told him I already had an account at his bank, and didn't need a credit card.
After checking out I had to walk by the in-store bank branch, at which time they approached me again to open an account. Once again, I told them that I already had an account.
Don't Give In To The Sales Pitch
I would never give in to these sales pitches to sign up for a store credit card for a few reasons:
- Horrible Interest Rates: Many of these in-house store cards carry interest rates in excess of 20% APR. Does that sound like a good deal to you?
- Small Savings: Usually when you're offered to save 10-15% on these cards you're making a purchase less than $50. Do you really want to get a credit card just for $5-10 in savings? Is it worth it?
- Having To Give Personal Information While Standing In Line: When you say that you'd like to sign up for a card the clerk will ususally ask you for your social security number and name right there while waiting in line. I don't think that's a good idea. Who knows who's standing in line behind you, waiting to hear your personal information?
The only time i would ever even consider giving in to one of these offers is if I was making an extremely large purchase, like on a $2000 television. In that case I'd be getting a couple of hundred dollars back and it might be worth my while. I'd get my savings, pay off the card, and then close it!
Have you been noticing an uptick in pushy sales associates offering you store credit cards as well? Have you given in to any of them? Tell us about it!